the not-so-little little things

i spent the evening sitting cross-legged on the floor of a tiny, rural church sorting piles of pens, notebooks, candy and flashlights. the parishioners of gramling united methodist caught the vision of kirabo and responded with the kind of generosity that would make the toughest cynic reexamine his outlook in its entirety.

40 tidily packed ziplock bags later, i sat back and soaked in the feeling of love that birthed enough tokens of kindness to stretch the sides of our worn suitcases to the breaking point. not one item was bigger than a breadbox. none of it was expensive stuff. but it was carried in by the hands of humans who heard a story of loss and need and responded with hearts overflowing with love and willingness. this is the gift. the kirabo gift.

altruism is beautiful. i have moments of floating atop an i-wanna-save-the-world cloud. truth is, i can't even manage to save myself. it takes Someone Big. a heart with enough capacity to love to say, "ok, kiddo. don't worry. i will suffer it all so you don't have to." and when the gramling united methodist churches of this world open their arms and spread them wide enough to draw in every kirabo kid, i get a little better picture of my Savior. arms spread wide. with room for us all.

uganda and the gift

from the first day i set foot in uganda, i knew it was a special place. that red soil soaked into my heart just like it did into the once-white soles of my running shoes. but i had no idea that sixteen years down the road i'd be packing my suitcase again. for the fifth time. to revisit the pearl of africa. to reconnect with my ugandan loved ones. to hug the precious young adults who have left the cement halls of their learning years to impress their own unique prints into that beautiful ugandan earth. to meet little faces matching new names on the lists i pore over and pray over.

it's time to go again.

there is no measure to the value of a life. no way to calculate what one person might flood over this planet that breathes life into them. it's impossible to know what we might miss if we overlook and underserve the least of these. my Jesus thought every single one worthy of His life. i'm pretty sure He wants us to offer what we can of ours too.

in seven days our plane will take off. ten days later, it will bring us back. but they... our kirabo kids... they stay. to use what you give them, what we give them, to create a better life. a brighter life. a beautiful life. and, just maybe, to pass that better, brighter beauty on.

the gift, the kirabo, is hope. woven securely in the fabric of education. and the givers? US.